A Los Angeles ice cream shop broke the internet last month when it introduced an ice cream flavor made with real White Rabbit candy.
But the scoop shop, Wanderlust Creamery, might have shot itself in the foot with its popularity.
After catching wind of the story, a spokesperson for the maker of White Rabbit candy in Shanghai told the Shanghai Morning Post on Sunday that it would be investigating whether there was any trademark infringement.
Images of the White Rabbit ice cream on the shop’s Instagram have since disappeared.
The hype started on Feb. 1, when Wanderlust Creamery introduced the flavor to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Each scoop contains 1.3 pieces of dissolved White Rabbit candy, including the edible rice paper wrapper, Wanderlust’s co-founder, Jon-Patrick Lopez, told Food & Wine.
The ice cream routinely sold out in the month of February, unusual considering the 50-degree Fahrenheit (10-degree Celsius) winter weather—brisk by Los Angeles standards.
Its popularity led the shop to extend the promotion till the end of March.
The White Rabbit flavor had become so popular that Wanderlust at one point was running out of wholesalers to supply the candy, Food & Wine reported.
Over the years, the maker of White Rabbit, Guanshengyuan, has been riding the nostalgia associated with this milk-based confectionery.
Last September, the company worked with Chinese cosmetics company Maxam to sell a White Rabbit-flavored lip balm.
But unlike with Wanderlust, that partnership was an official one.
White Rabbit candy was first made in China in the 1940s to mimic milk candies from Britain.
They were first sold with a Mickey Mouse illustration on the packaging, but Mickey was later replaced with a rabbit during the Cultural Revolution in the ’60s, when Western symbols were banned.
The candy is so iconic that it was one of the items given to U.S. President Richard Nixon when he visited China in the ’70s.
Meanwhile in China, netizens have been lamenting how White Rabbit ice cream remains unavailable in the place where the candy was born.
“For this reason alone, I’m going to visit LA again,” wrote one internet user on Weibo, China’s Twitter.
Seems like that trip will have to wait.
Adapted from an article first published in the South China Morning Post.